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Sustainability Research Project

Project Member(s): Ryan, R., Lawrie, A., Hunting, S.

Funding or Partner Organisation: The Council of the City of Sydney (City of Sydney)

Start year: 2014

Summary: ACELG was engaged to undertake a significant research project to understand the sustainability awareness, perceptions and motivations for change amongst various target audiences. The research was required to provide qualitative insights into Council's extensive suite of sustainability policy and program initiatives, including: Green Infrastructure and Climate Change Adaptation Master Plans; Residential Apartment Strategy; Customer Sector Strategies; Tri-generation and Advanced Waste and Water Treatment Plants; and Water Sensitive City initiatives. As a piece of follow up research, the research also enabled benchmarking of findings to those of the initial 2011 sustainability research, and identify how City of Sydney residents and businesses have progressed along their sustainability journey. The research tested the proposition that residents and businesses undertaking the most sustainable actions have a lower environmental footprint. The research involved internal organisational and external community and stakeholder engagement using both qualitative and quantitative methods. Research methods used included a literature review, internal workshops, two separate and large sample resident and business online survey panels (n=~1,250 each), eight focus groups, and a daily environmental sustainability journal of selected online panel respondents to test the proposition. A demographic, attitudinal and behavioural based segmentation model was developed, with the research culminating in advice to Council on how to incorporate the perceptions, attitudes and behaviours of residents and businesses into environmental policy and program development, implementation and evaluation and further Council¿s sustainability strategic objectives.

FOR Codes: Environmental Sociology, Sustainability Indicators